I attended the ROAD TO CHANGE event in Irvine on Saturday. The event was hosted by the pastor of the AME Church and a local Rabbi and featured some Parkland students as well as other student-activists from around the country who are touring the country this summer to spread their message of change. In addition, there were 5 student-activists from Orange county. Their goal – to elect candidates that will change the course of the country. That means all politicians (Republicans and Democrats) that accept money from the NRA need to be voted out!
First, here in (formerly) “red” Orange County, they had to turn people away! The place was packed. Old, young, white, brown, black – it was inspiring. In attendance were Harley Rouda and Katie Porter, OC Democratic Congressional candidates. There was enormous security. These students risk their lives every time they speak. The organization was phenomenal and the students were knowledgeable and articulate.
They stressed that they are NOT an anti-gun movement. They recognize the right to bear arms, but before that, in the Constitution, is the right to LIFE! They know that guns are a part of many people’s social fabric, but “a hobby is not more important than a life.” They are not trying to repeal the 2nd amendment. What they want to do is create effective background checks and ban assault weapons, which are designed only to kill.
What they brought was HOPE for the future of our country. You could feel the hope in the room. We were urged to create GOOD trouble – register voters, canvas neighborhoods, and VOTE!
Some good news – voter registration is up for ages 18-30 all over the country. As much as 40% in some places.
Some not-so-good-news – the annual OC Gun Show is held at the OC Fair! I’m investigating what we can do to stop that and will keep you posted.
Some cool news – the organization has created and is selling a tee shirt (see the picture of the moderator) that you can scan the American flag from the shirt and it takes you to a voter registration page where you can register to vote all over the country. You can go to this link to purchase one.
Finally, gun violence is a public health issue and should be treated as such by our representatives. Living in the “safest city in America” it was heartening to see our privileged white citizens defending the rights of all – black, brown, white, LBGTQ. I am grateful to be a small part of this movement. I encourage all of you to get at least one new voter to register. Harley Rouda won the primary by 125 votes. Each vote counts! Harley and Katie are ahead by 3 points – and that’s not enough. We all need to do our job registering and getting people out to vote! Our children and grandchildren are depending on us.